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old saw

A proverb or maxim, as in Mom's always repeating the old saw, “Haste makes waste.” This term uses saw in the sense of “saying,” and old in the sense of “wise” rather than old-fashioned. [ Second half of 1400s ]
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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  • An old saw well applied is excellent, detestable when wrongly introduced.

    Lord Montagu's Page G. P. R. James
  • He did not believe in the old saw about the devil being dead.

    The Strollers Frederic S. Isham
  • The old saw, “A watched pot never boils,” is fully exemplified.

    The Great Frozen Sea Albert Hastings Markham
  • As the 'old saw' has it, my dear madam, 'Man proposes, but——'

  • Nay, it is not that, and this is another proof of the old saw that No man knows himself', said the count.

    The Hero of the People Alexandre Dumas
  • There is an old saw that declares it to be, like kissing, never out of season.

    In the West Country Francis A. Knight
  • Indeed, many an old saw is in reality the truth turned inside out.

    Poor Folk in Spain Jan Gordon

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